Knowing she needed to be creative in order to find friends, Diane*,  an OM worker in North Africa, joined a neighbourhood gym. Every day, she spent two and a half hours there, participating in group classes and using the exercise equipment. Still, she wondered how to start friendships with the women she encountered.

Once, she invited the women from her Zumba class—an aerobic dance workout originating in Latin America—to her apartment for a Latino-themed dinner. They came and enjoyed the meal, but the gesture didn’t lead to ongoing appointments.

Occasionally, Diane met one or two ladies for coffee or a meal at a nearby restaurant. But Diane craved something else—a reason to regularly meet with a friend and get to know her North African acquaintances on a deeper level.

After class finished one evening, Anaya*, Dianne’s instructor at the gym, asked her to wait for a minute. “I’m going to walk with you.”

Upon discovering that Anaya also walked home every evening (in the same direction as Diane’s apartment), Diane intentionally began joining Anaya’s last class of the day. Then the two women walked home together. “We started to talk, to go out to coffee shops, but coffee shops are crowded… . You cannot be so deep somehow,” Diane recounted.

Then, one night as they were walking home, the two friends started chatting about movies. They discovered they both liked the Tolkien series,  The Lord of the Rings (LOTR).

“What if we watched the movies together?” Diane suggested. Anaya quickly agreed.

Before their first movie night arrived, Diane accompanied Anaya and a few other friends to a coffee shop. The other North African friends were busy with a baby when Diane and Anaya started talking about religion. “Have you ever read the Bible?” Diane asked.

“No. I was searching for that on the Internet, but I don’t know which one is the right one,” Anaya admitted.

“Oh, there is only one,” Diane responded, sharing a little about God’s Word.

The following weekend, Anaya arrived at Diane’s apartment to watch the first LOTR movie. After they watched the movie and chatted for a while, Diane gave Anaya a present: a wrapped Bible. “She was really happy and excited, and then she left. It was almost 3:00,” Diane remembered.

The next day, the two had planned to attend a wedding together. Diane arrived at Anaya’s house in the afternoon and saw the Bible sitting on her table. “Did you sleep well?” Diane asked.

“No, how could I sleep when you gave me something to read?” Anaya answered.

Diane realised Anaya had stayed up all night reading the New Testament. “Do you have any questions?”

“Yes,” Anaya said, taking the Bible and showing Diane the parts she had highlighted.

From that point on, each evening when the women walked home together from the gym, they talked about the Bible—what Anaya had read and what questions she had. They also continued their movie marathon on the weekends, finishing the LOTR saga, The Hobbit and several other series. Afterwards, they talked until the early hours of the morning. Midnight, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00.

While discussing dreams, Anaya told Diane one of her recurring dreams: She saw a bus full of people, but she was afraid of getting onto the bus. The other dream Anaya talked about was about God’s judgement at the end of time.

“I think these kind of dreams are God protecting you from getting inside this bus because the bus is taking these people to death,” Diane said. But, “when you dream about the end of days, the time is coming when God is going to take His people.”

Diane asked if she could pray for God to reveal Himself to Anaya in her dreams, and Anaya agreed.

“Sometimes I also feel a lot of anxiety and fear, but I pray to Jesus, and I feel peace,” Diane told her friend. “What do you think about Jesus?”

“I think He’s the way, and when He comes back, everyone will follow him,” Anaya said.

The two women continued to meet and discuss the things Anaya was reading. “She said she has talked to Jesus, but she still is struggling with the things that the Qur’an says and she grew up listening to,” Diane said. “For her, [Jesus] is just a prophet.”

Dianne challenged some of Anaya’s beliefs, including her misconception that the Bible had been changed. Anaya was quiet that day, “but somehow it was really good,” Diane said. “I didn’t push her too much after that because I know she’s going to search about these things.”

Unlike her other North African friends, “Anaya is open to listen to what I’m sharing with her,” Diane said. “She really wants to know a little bit more.”

Pray that God would reveal himself to Anaya through her dreams. Pray that she will be brave in her journey of seeking truth. Pray for Diane and other workers to have opportunities to share more of God’s Word with Anaya and other North Africans.

*Name changed for security

Nicole James is a world traveller and writer for OM International. She’s passionate about partnering with believers to communicate the ways God is working across the globe.

Share this Resource

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Share on print

Leave a Reply

You might also like:

Arts Ministry North Africa    Go & Live    As soon as possibleWe are looking for people gifted in any area of the arts to come and be a part of a church planting team specifically reaching artists.  These are artist in the field of painting/drawing, dancing, theatre, music, media and more.  Come use your gifts to connect with others in your field, build friendships and share the gospel through your unique arts gifting!
Full Details
Church Planter North Africa    Go & Live    As soon as possibleSince our beginnings, we have been driven by a deep conviction that everyone should have the opportunity to hear the gospel at least once. Sadly, there are still thousands of peoples and communities that have never heard about Jesus, ever. We are looking for people with a passion for Jesus and a passion to see vibrant communities of Jesus followers established among the least reached. We focus on evangelism, discipleship and church planting among those who have never yet heard of Christ. Do you share this passion and want to be involved in either pioneering or joining church planting initiatives? If so, we are looking for you, and many more like you, to join us.
Full Details
English Teacher North Africa    Go & Live    As soon as possibleAre you a native English speaker eager to use your language skills to help build the kingdom of God?  In this country where Arabic is the first language and French the second, University students, business men and women, and even children are looking for opportunities to learn English. There are opportunities for certified teachers as well as non-certified. We are looking for individuals who desire to share their faith through English teaching friendships.
Full Details
Field Personnel Officer North Africa    Go & Live    As soon as possibleWe are looking for an individual to provide leadership for both expatriate and local personnel to be a part of the following:

-Oversee the on-boarding process of both expatriate and local personnel.

-Maintain adequate staffing levels to ensure the organization can carry out its work effectively.

-Provide a welcoming environment for newcomers.

-Improve skills and efficiency of  Personnel Department and  relationships with OM offices worldwide.

Full Details
Cafe Hopper North Africa    Go & Live    As soon as possibleDo you love coffee and meeting with friends? Do you have a passion to share Jesus with the lost? Come join our team in North Africa and spend your time meeting locals, building friendships and sharing your faith .. all while enjoying great outdoor cafes, beach side vistas, and the warm Arab culture.
Full Details
Team Members North Africa    Go & Live    As soon as possibleSince our beginnings, we have been driven by a deep conviction that everyone should have the opportunity to hear the gospel at least once. Sadly, there are still thousands of peoples and communities that have never heard about Jesus, ever. Do you share our passion for these people to hear of His fame and renown? Come. Join one of our teams and be amazed at how God is working in lives and communities around the world, and be amazed at how He works in your life, as well. We are looking for you, and many more like you, to join us on this journey to see vibrant communities of Jesus followers established among the least reached all over the world.
Full Details
Sports Ministry North Africa    Go & Live    As soon as possibleSports fields of all kinds are at the centre of every community around the world, filled with people competing and sharing life together. We believe every sports field can become a harvest field for discipleship and generate hope for families and communities through the transforming love of Jesus Christ. We want to see athletes and coaches, local churches and communities make the most of sports through sharing Christ in relational and relevant ways, such as hosting community sports activities, engaging in sports leagues, training coaches and athletes in applying biblical principles to sports, and much more.
If you have a passion for sports and a passion to bring the gospel to those who have never heard before, come find your fit with OM.

Full Details
Team Member North Africa    Go & Live    As soon as possibleYoung adults in the Middle East and North Africa are starting to be more and more disillusioned by religion, seeking truth and love elsewhere than in Islam. No one is better to reach this group than peers from within the same generation. You can be part of reaching the least reached of your generation in the Middle East, while learning Arabic and experience the Arab world from the inside.
Full Details
CUBE – Refugee Outreach and Ministry Training (1-3 months) North Africa    Go & Visit    2 June 2021 - 30 June 2021An intensive one month program - empowering believers to be effective in cross-cultural ministry. (Upon request it can be extended)
Full Details